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tv   Viewpoint  Current  June 25, 2013 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT

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>> john: thank you, turk. the supreme court decides the voting rights act is a constitutional threat to getting more republicans elected. it is a great day in the history of the white folks who say it soo racism, it's state's rights and we're joined to talk about it by both congresswoman sheila jackson lee and jesse jackson. corn congressman has an idea on the mind your own business act. he may be slightly opinionated. and what's nsa leaker snowden and clapper have in compon? they both broke the law but one
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told the truth while one told a lie. guess which one is wanted for treason. >> this is the birthday of the late orwell, sonia sotomayor and george michael turns 50 years old today which means he's old enough to be hit on in the bushes of george michael. the first live international tv broadcast was aired called our world and it featured artists from 19 different countries including maria kalas and picasso viewed by a record 400 million people and the deals along with friends jagger, performed a brand new tune written especially by john lennon for the broadcast called "all you need is love" 46 years ago tonight. this is "viewpoint." >> john: i'm john fuglesang. this is "viewpoint."
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the voting rights act of 1965 is one of the towering achievements of the civil rights era. today's supreme court ruling left that towering achievement still standing but merely as a hollow shell. by 5-4 vote, the courts struck down the act's section four which set a formula for determining whether nine state the and municipalities mostly in the south had discriminated against minority voters. states that met the formula had to submit to federal oversight in order to pass any new election laws. the court broke along ideological lines justices roberts scarks leah, alito and the most powerful man on earth kennedy voting against the provision. while justices ginsburg, breyer, sotomayor and kagan voted to keep the act intact. writing for the majority, chief justice roberts claimed the formula that determined whether states had passed laws that reduced minority voting were out-of-date and no longer justified treating some states differently than others. in the words of the decision and
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i quote... in other words my friends laws to stop bigotry are bigoted against bigots. president obama immediately released a statement saying he was deeply disappointed in the ruling which he said and i quote... now, congressman john lies, a hero of the civil rights era who marched with dr. king was a bit more blunt. >> what the supreme court did was to put a dagger in the very heart of the voting rights act of 1965. >> john: while in texas you'll be shocked to know, state officials marked the court's decision by immediately enacting a voter i.d. law that will make it harder for poor people, old people and college students to
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cast their ballots. for more, we're privileged to be joined by one of the historic leaders of the civil rights movement, the founder and president of the rainbow push coalition, the reverend jesse jackson. good evening, sir, welcome to "viewpoint." it is great to have you. congressman lewis said he was in disbelief that the court would make this decision. how did you feel, sir when you heard the news? were you surprised? >> i was not surprised. but very disappointed. let me submit to you eight things are denied. 1965, we rin the right to vote. this court in 2013 takes it back. we've been here before. unless we forget, when mr. robert speaks up, how much things are on there elections -- once the protections are removed, you begin to use gerrymandering and schemes to take back the impact of the vote. it began in texas today. >> john: exactly right. as you know, sir the court left
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most of the voting rights act intact. with the provisions still in effects allow civil rights groups to fight discrimination? >> well, it is a much more expensive process. since 1982, there have been 800 cases blocked with tips of discrimination where they draw the lines. let us not forget this affects the very heart of expanding our democracy to be an inclusive one. in 1965, blacks could not vote. white women could not serve on juries. 18-year-olds could not vote. you couldn't vote on college campuses. you had to go home and vote absentee. you could not vote bilingually. the schemes have never stopped. last year, of course, you saw the voter suppression scheme, the voter i.d.s schemes so those who lost that privilege power in 1965 ideologically they've never stopped fighting back. today they've had a victory.
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we must resist it. >> john: as you know, the voting rights act was passed in '65 to take one example from the census bureau, 70% of caucasians were registered to vote. only 7% of african-americans. last year, as fox news has been telling me all day 81% of mississippi whites were registered to vote but so were 90% of mississippi's african-americans. as you've heard, we have an african-american president in the white house so the white wing refrain i'll ask to you sir, why is the law still needed? >> first of all it's not just blacks. the blacks took the brunt of the blood but it is blacks. it's latinos it's women and either of those groups is knocked out in the fabric of the coalition of all of them. this is a real ideological statement here. the voting rights act of 1965. you see in their voting pattern even now, i will submit to you we'll lose half of our elected
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black officials in four to six years because they'll lose their power in the states to draw them out of office. and congressman of louisiana they threw him out of office. you'll look at patterns of gerrymandering to be in the courts. patterns of gerrymandering and it may reduce our numbers by half in the next four to six years. >> john: let me ask you a question where there might be an area for hope. a lot of lawyers will make money off this ruling but do you think this will inspire the democratic voting base to really turn out for the midterms in 2014 in a way that they didn't in 2010. >> well, i hope. so i think that they should not just voter turnout but the capacity to win. if your you gerrymandered districts, voting cannot help you. and at-large, these schemes undermine the vote. you add that -- now big money. it makes voting less successful
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to people and more distant from the one vote democracy which is the great american promise. >> john: reverend jackson can you explain for our viewers how this decision impacts all americans and not just african-americans? >> well, first of all we find the case that as i said, when blacks got the right to vote, white women got the right in the same states. latinos got the right to vote bilingually in the same basic states. now you have a broader base americans who -- if -- it is like the bottom of a ship. if any one plank comes out the water comes in and sinks the whole ship. any of us affected directly affects everybody indirectly. we all must secure the right to vote and have it protected. further oversight better protection than state's rights. >> john: the voter i.d. laws texas is trying to get across the boards right now hurt poor folks and college students who might not have a driver's license and they hurt seniors who don't have a state i.d. as
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well. >> i was in south carolina just last week and they are turning down $13 billion for medicaid. they don't want federal money. turning down education. battle between feds and states continues. everything that they have within the state's rights powers to do, making more and more difficult. access to education and healthcare more difficult. first class jails second class schools, we must fight back. back to the streets and back to the courts. i hope president obama will not just protest his anguish over anger about it but he has the power to convene the congress. he should make a statement to the nation just as president lyndon johnson. he should make the same case to that congress and this nation lyndon johnson made in 1965. he will use the powers hopefully in that way. >> john: i hope we'll be seeing that soon.
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one last question, given the vast majority of minority voters went for president obama in the last election and that the conservative members of the supreme court were the ones ones who handed down the decision, do you see this as a complete political decision by what is supposed to be an apolitical nonactivist court? >> absolutely it's political just as they left their vacations and came back in the year 2000 and gave bush the election. the winner lost and the loser won because they came back, right down party lines. they put bush in who had the most votes we are paying for that today. >> john: they rebuked presidents bush and reagan for upholding the act. reverend jesse jackson president of the rainbow push coalition. thank you for joining us on "viewpoint" this evening. >> thank you sir. >> john: for more on today's supreme court ruling on the voting rights act, i'm pleased to be joined by congresswoman sheila jackson lee democrat representing texas's 18th congressional district and
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senior member of the house judiciary committee. congresswoman, what a pleasure. welcome to "viewpoint." >> thank you so much, john. it is good to be with you and your viewers. >> john: it is great to have you. you posted on your web site this was not the time for the court to weaken or repeal the voting rights act which you call the anchor protecting american's right to vote. i've got to ask, what's your response now that a 5-4 supreme court conservative majority has done just that. >> well, john, let me tell you this was a very emotional day for me. as the news creeped into texas i was in texas as it was breaking, i literally broke down and cried. i didn't force it. i didn't expect it. i didn't expect a surge of emotion. i am still at that state. i am intertwined with the voting rights act of 1965. i know the three civil rights workers -- when i say i know them, i was alive obviously as their bodies were being found. i worked for the southern christian leadership conference. more importantly, i've seen
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leaders like president lyndon baines johnson who was in my lifetime who worked meticulously after the movement led by martin king and unknown soldiers, pushed the idea of voting rights act to 65. if you read the story of lyndon baines johnson you'll find out he went one vote at a time, republicans and democrats and brought a bipartisan house and senate together to vote for that act. you will find out as a senior member of the judiciary committee in 2006, we painstakingly, painstakingly collected 15,000 pages of testimony, people pleading from all of the states that were covered and said we need the voting rights act of 1965. what i want to say john, is that this is an american legislation. this is an american initiative. this is about protecting the rights of all americans. i don't know why people don't think that whether you're white american hispanic or asian, a woman, you all have civil
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rights. we all have civil rights. the voting rights act was on the basis of civil rights. >> john: exactly. >> so my fear is this... one, the emotion that rose up in me was based upon whether we were facing another partisan divide. the supreme court indicated by keeping section five that they believed or affirmed that discrimination still exists. but yet the enforcement part of it was thrown back to one of the most divided congresses in the history of the united states of america. let me give you this one point john then -- this one point. this is like vaccination for measles. you are using the vaccination for measles. you see there is a decrease in children getting measles. what do you say? the medical association says good. let's get rid of the vaccination. it's working. that is not clear reasoning. >> john: exactly right. i gotta say back in your home state of texas, i guess i was surprised maybe not that
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attorney general greg abbott wasted no time, congresswoman using today's court decision to enact a completely unnecessary voter i.d. law that no one needs, that the justice department had previously blocked. what is enacting that law today, mean to your district and to your state? >> you know what? i'm welling up again. i'm not in any way being facetious about this. it is clear evidence, john, clear evidence to america that what the supreme court did today was to turn back the clock 150 years. this year, 2013, 150 years from the emancipation proclamation in january of 1863. and i believe the supreme court turned the clock back. our attorney general could not wait five minutes to be able to show who was in charge. and to be able to oppress the people of the state of texas. there was reasoning behind the
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justice department blocking the voter i.d. law because there were tens upon tens of counties in texas that had no ability for, in particular, elderly voters and hispanic voters, to be able to access the voter i.d. card. the cost was exorbitant which would block people who didn't have means other than maybe being on a fixed income but that should tell the story. as soon as a supreme court kicked the can down the road, threw it into the throngs of a divided congress that cannot even pass immigration reform, on the underpinnings of there were too many minorities voting in 2012, then they see an elected official that holds the trust of his state constituents who happen to be majority and minority individuals immediately goes and places in this draconian voter i.d. law. if this doesn't raise the ire and the concern of good-thinking americans across this nation, i don't know what does.
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and i've introduced legislation today. called the coretta scott king do not redistrict in med decade law which will prevent midterm redistricting. i don't know if that's going to be next. it will impact school boards, state legislators it will impact congressional seats. all of these seats that were drawn under the voting rights act to empower all of our voters. all of our voters. and here we have today, texas now being the poster child for how wrong the supreme court decision was. thank god for justice ginsberg. i want to thank her publicly for the courageous act of reading her opinion which made a simple statement. if discrimination exists, then so should the complete voting rights act of 1965. >> john: i think you're right. i encourage our readers to read justice ginsburg's dissent. i thank you congresswoman for your continuing work on this issue and for pointing out this affects a lot more than african-americans and the
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actions of your state's attorney general proves exactly why this law is still needed. democratic congresswoman sheila jackson lee representing texas's 18th congressional district. many thanks. >> thank you very much. this is a call for action. thank you. >> john: amen. thank you. okay. coming up next we'll talk nsa keystone pipeline and everything in between with the one and only somewhat opinionated congressman alan grayson next. (vo) from the underworld, to the world of privilege. >> everyone in michael jackson's life was out to use him. (vo) no one brings you more documentaries that are real, gripping, current. you know who is coming on to me now? you know the kind of guys that do reverse mortgage commercials? those types are coming on to me all the time
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now. (vo) she gets the comedians thinking. >>ok, so there's wiggle room in the ten commandments, that's what you're saying. you would rather deal with ahmadinejad than me. >>absolutely. >> and so would mitt romney. (vo) she's joy behar. >>and the best part is that current will let me say anything. what the hell were they thinking?
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cenk off air alright in 15 minutes we're going to do the young turks! i think the number 1 thing than viewers like about the young turks is that were honest. they know that i'm not bsing them for some hidden agenda, actually supporting one party or the other. when the democrats are wrong, they know i'm going to be the first one to call them out. cenk on air>> what's unacceptable is how washington continues to screw the middle class over. cenk off air i don't want the middle class taking the brunt of the spending cuts and all the different programs that wind up hurting the middle class. cenk on air you got to go to the local level, the state level and we have to fight hard to make sure they can't buy our politics anymore. cenk off air and
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they can question if i'm right about that. but i think the audience gets that, i actually cenk on air 3 trillion dollars in spending cuts! narrator uniquely progressive and always topical the worlds largest online news show is on current tv. cenk off air and i think the audience gets, "this guys to best of his abilities is trying to look out for us." only on current tv! >> john: another day another surprise from our friends at the national security agency. two senators say the nsa put out false information in its defense of surveillance laws. ron wyden and mark udall say the agency portrays privacy as being stronger than they actually are. the weaker protections offer another black eye and growing concerns over just how big of a brother we're all going to have here in america. so, where do we go from here? for more, i'm delighted to be
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joined once again by representative alan grayson a democrat representing florida's ninth district. congressman, welcome back to "viewpoint." >> thank you. >> john: you've offered an amendment to end nsa spying on americans called mind your own business act. what's in it? >> a prohibition against the department of defense collecting information about americans on american soil unless they can show that you're involved in a terrorist conspiracy or unless they're investigating a violation of the uniform code of military justice that draws the line where the line has been since the 1870s and the posse act. now, the department of defense has obliterated that line by collecting information on every single telephone call that every american makes forever. >> john: what kind of support is your act getting now? >> it is too early to say. there has been tremendous support from the public. over 20,000 people have already come to our web site mind your own business act.com and signed our citizen petition to pass the act. i think that will snowball.
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we'll see hundreds of thousands of people eventually. i think we'll see more and more members of congress understand the simple principle involved here. that kind of spying does not make us safer and it is beneath our dignity as americans. >> john: you know, john kerry of course -- lives may have been put at risk. were you surprise by the sheer value ume of data mining that snowden disclosed. do you think it is legal? >> i think everyone was surprised, i've talked to conservative republicans who helped to write the patriot act. they're shocked. it is not legal. what they do to justify this, they reach back to a 1979 supreme court decision involving what are called pen registers. the supreme court said that you could get the telephone records of one person once. so on the basis of that decision in 1979, the defense department is getting everybody's records everywhere for all time. it is ridiculous. and the threat involved is what's done is called turnkey
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tyranny. the fact that someone else after barack obama let's say president louie gohmert can come along and use all of that information to make life in america miserable for all americans. >> john: as you know, nsa spying is now the outrage of the season but do you see this congress actually hearing the people and passing any laws that change it? >> the people have to speak up and congress will listen. when i call my mother, there is no threat to national security. the fourth amendment draws the line at exactly the right place. it says in order to get this kind of information first of all, you need probable cause. you need a reason to believe that you'll get information about it a crime by getting this information. and secondly, you need particularity. you need to be specific about the specific things that you need in order to be able to continue the investigation. this is just basically taking everything, everything in existence, throwing it into a big bag shaking it up and seeing what falls out. >> john: did this guy snowden, actually do president obama a favor? here's my theory.
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we've had all of the fake scandals about benghazi and the i.r.s. but now we see on tv, republicans defending the president and the nsa instead of attacking him on those same issues. will this actually help and give the president more political capital? >> no. i don't think so because of the way the president's reacting to this. in the case of benghazi, i read the classified report. i'm on the foreign affairs committee in the house. i know everything that happened in benghazi. i read the cables and the e-mails and all about it. there is no scandal. not withstanding that the president has let his opponents fight him on this for months, fling dirt in his face and the face of hillary clinton in the hope some of it will stick. in regards to the i.r.s., the evidence, the republicans in the house tried desperately to cover up which was released last week by a democrat in the house the evidence indicates what actually happened here is not that the democrats and the i.r.s. were somehow trying to suppress the organizations but rather that a
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right wing republican working in the i.r.s. actually was trying to identify these tea party organizations so that he could accelerate the granting of the application even though the code that we're talking about here, the tax code, actually prohibits the use of charitable organizations funds for political purposes. so a right wing republican in the i.r.s. is doing exactly the opposite of what he was supposed to be doing to aid the organizations and somehow that's a scandal against president obama. now, in that case, the president has actually gone ahead and terminated the employment of the head of the i.r.s. let's compare that to a genuine scandal, a genuine scandal that involves the violation of law that goes back to the 1870s that prohibits the department of defense from operating on our shores. and in this case, the president goes out of his way to try to justify it, to rationalize it when in fact it defies common sense to think we need to spy on all americans to be safe. >> john: sir, i want to ask you about the president's new energy plan. he said he wouldn't approve of the keystone pipeline if it
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significantly added to carbon pollution. so does the president have to compromise on some environmental issues to get anything done on other affairs? >> no. he's not going to get anything in return for authorizing keystone to go ahead. keystone is the dirtiest source of oil on the planet. virtually all of it will be taken from canada, transported through the united states and thanks to republicans, not be taxed while it is being transported through the united states. exported. and that does not help our economy in any sense. the last estimate i heard of how many jobs that that would create is fewer than 20. >> john: the only thing more insane is that the house failed to pass the farm bill last week with republicans blaming democrats for its demise. before we go, what happened to the farm bill? >> what happened to the farm bill is that there were so many republicans who were so desperate to take more food out of the mouths of hungry
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children, to take more food out of the mouths of the unemployed and the working poor, they couldn't stand for a bill that took only $20 billion out of the mouths of hungry children. in terms of their food. that's what actually happened. and by the way, you know, there's been so much play that somehow only 20 democrats supported this bill. as if democrats are supposed to be collaborators in the effort to spread famine across the land. i'm sorry. if there is a party today in america that is a pro hunger party, it is not the democratic party. it is republican party. >> john: alan grayson always a pleasure. thank you so much for some of your time this evening. >> thank you too. >> john: up next, some weird political stuff is actually happening in alaska. go figure! stuff they say about something they just pulled freshly from their [bleep]. >> you know what those people are like. >> what could possibly go wrong in eight years of george bush?
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>> my producer just coughed up a hairball. >>sorry. >>just be grateful current tv doesn't come in "smell-o-vision" >> oh come on! the sweatshirt is nice and all but i could use a golden lasso. (vo)only on current tv.
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(vo) later tonight current tv is the place for compelling true stories. >> jack, how old are you? >> nine. >> this is what 27 tons of marijuana looks like. (vo) with award winning documentaries that take you inside the headlines, way inside. (vo) from the underworld, to the world of privilege. >> everyone in michael jackson's life was out to use him. (vo) no one brings you more documentaries that are real, gripping, current.
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>> john: tonight on wtf alaska, we look at the issue of tax breaks for oil companies. i know that sounds weird because it is very out of character for an oil company to ask for a tax break. mainly due to the fact that they usually don't pay taxes in the first place but in the great state of alaska, a proposed referendum would let voters decide on repealing tax breaks for oil companies. sounds like a pretty good democratic idea, right? it's your money, after all. supporters need to collect 30,000 signatures by july 13th. now, petitioners, as well as intentioned as they are can be a little annoying. back when i lived in l.a., i was approached to sign something every time i left my neighborhood whole foods. some nice liberal with a clipboard. i could never focus on the cause being advocated because i was too preoccupied with the fact i could no longer pay my rent because i just shopped at whole foods but in alaska, political strategist and presumed oil
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company art hackney has upped the annoyance ante by hiring people to follow around the folks who are trying to get alaskans to sign the petition and talk people out of signing it. so oil companies won't have to pay any taxes. that's right. alaska is now overrun by professional petitioners and professional petition talker out offers. wtf alaska, i'm so worried about this, i'm thinking of starting my own petition to ban nonpetitioners from harassing petitioners who want petition-prone people to not sign petitions. okay, i'm signing off now.
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>> today's supreme court decision concluded congress had not provided adequate justification for subjecting nine states mostly in the south to federal oversight. the court however, did not invalidate section five of the act. now, this is the section which requires areas that have a history of discrimination under
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the old section 4 formula to get preclearance for changes in voting procedures such as relocating a polling place or redrawing electoral districts ding ding, ding. although section five survives, it will have no actual effect unless and until congress can enact a new statute to determine who should be covered by it. what could be easier to understand than that? joining me for a heated discussion, i'm sure are my esteemed panel, joining us is democratic strategist, the great basil smikle, former adviser to president clinton, the brilliant richard socarides and dean obeidallah political comedian extraordinaire and creator of the dean's report.com. i thank you for being here to talk me off the ledge. basil, let me start with you. is this just another scotus punt or is this really a decisive ruling? >> this is a very decisive ruling. to some extent, it punts the responsibility to congress across the street but what
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essentially they're saying is that the burden of proof on the plaintiff is going to be so steep as to basically eliminate the ability for anyone that's wronged or that needs to -- that's going to have problems voting now because of laws like they're doing in texas, the hill is going to be so steep for them to climb. it is going to be almost impossible for individuals to fight to get their rights. now, having said that, the question then becomes does congress have the guts and the wherewithal to go back and fix this? >> john: i'm sure they can work together on that. >> you see that happening? because i definitely don't. this is a very awful ruling. >> john: it is an awful ruling. richard, as you know, congress did uphold this section under presidents nixon, under presidents ford, under president reagan and president w. those presidents have been rebuked by the current supreme court. did the justices gut this bill deliberately or are they, as they claim just progressing with the times? >> well, and it is very
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interesting what they did because they could have, in theory, done a lot more damage. could have been much -- the ruling could be with have been much more sweeping in scope. but it was essentially a very disingenuous ruling i think because even though they just took a little piece of the legislation and knocked it out and said congress could rewrite it and that would be fine with them by taking the piece out that they did they essentially gutted the whole law. congress is so dysfunctional now that you know, congress will never be able to come to any kind of an agreement on this. so, it was really -- with an awful lot of disingenuousness that they did this. they tried to sound like they were taking a middle ground yet everybody knows anybody who's paying attention knows that it was a very impactful ruling. very bad one. of. >> john: dean, isn't it true by saying we'll let congress sort it out they send it off to the cornfield? if congress will have to come up with a new formula to make this work out, how could it ever
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happen in such a divisive atmosphere as capitol hill today? >> it won't happen. what's remarkable is when this was renewed in 2006, re-authorized, the vote in the senate was 98-0. think about that. that's democrats and republicans. political price to pay if you were against the voting. so if you were republican, this is the greatest thing ever. you have the supreme court striking you down. states like texas within three hours saying we're going to make it more difficult for minorities to vote. they're saying -- they're not saying it like that but we're interpreting it like that, let's be frank. congress will never agree. attorney general holder said we're going to be very vigilant, the department of justice will be vigilant. you can be sure they will be. next administration may be republican and won't be as vigilant. >> john: that's what congressman grayson said. >> i don't want to desegregate this from other decisions the supreme court has made. if you take this with the desegregation cases over the last 10, 15 years especially parents involved, a case in seattle in 2007 where the
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supreme court basically said you cannot consider race and desegregation policies. this is an on-going attempt by this court to roll back civil rights. >> it shouldn't be a surprise. the president said he was deeply disappointed. but not surprised. they saw this was coming. this is the impact of having a bunch of very conservative, old school conservative men mostly men although we have some great women on the court. you saw how the court broke down today. this was 5-4. you know, the conservatives ruled. >> john: that's what we discussed with reverend jackson on the show earlier. there were a few times the voting rights act applied in the 2012 election. it is not like it is out of date. in texas where a federal court struck down a voter i.d. law saying the implicit cost of getting proper i.d. would fall most heavily on the poor and in florida, where a court decide early voting restrictions
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unfairly discriminated against african-americans. my friends, how can this act be construed as outdated when we see it was still relevant six months ago? >> in fact, dissenting opinion of the decision, they had a litany of cases where the voting rights act this provision prevented disenfranchising voters. the last years a whole list of -- so it is still relevant, still needed. i mean, you can only hope congress will do something. thank goodness, you can rely on the department of justice. >> i don't know about that. because there is a big difference between being able to go in front of an election, before an election and get preapproval and having to go in after the election. i think when they say outdated, the court -- when the court says outdated, they don't really mean the law is outdated. they mean the thinking is outdated. this is the court saying today that in their view, the country is at a point where voters don't need -- >> john: tomorrow, we're going to find out if the same five men
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think that the definition of marriage from 1620 is outdated or if that's still completely relevant. so are you optimistic, basil about where the court might come down on prop 8 and doma? >> despite what's happening today and yesterday on their decisions, i'm a little more optimistic about doma. maybe i'm the minority on this. >> john: richard are we looking at a supreme court that will say you can marry who you want if you're gay but if you're gay, poor and black you won't be able to vote? >> i'm optimistic the court will strike doma. i'm less optimistic on the proposition 8 case. i don't think we'll have the broad ruling that we wanted holding there is a nationwide constitutional right to same-sex marriage but it is only a couple of years ago. >> john: much more to go through. my brilliant panel is not going anywhere because it is wretchedly hot in new york city and we have great air conditioning.
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this show is about analyzing criticizing, and holding policy to the fire. are you encouraged by what you heard the president say the other night? is this personal, or is it political? a lot of my work happens by
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doing the things that i'm given to doing anyway, by staying in touch with everything that is going on politically and putting my own nuance on it. in reality it's not like they actually care. this is purely about political grandstanding. i've worn lots of hats, but i've always kept this going. i've been doing politics now for a dozen years. (vo) he's been called the epic politics man. he's michael shure and his arena is the war room. >> these republicans in congress that think the world ends at the atlantic ocean border and pacific ocean border. the bloggers and the people that are sort of compiling the best of the day. i do a lot of looking at those people as well. not only does senator rubio just care about rich people, but somehow he thinks raising the minimum wage is a bad idea for the middle class. but we do care about them right? >> john: today, the president unveiled an ambitious climate change plan in a speech at
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georgetown university. thed administration is putting in place tough new rules to cut carbon pollution including -- setting the goal of having the federal government consuming 20% of all its electricity from renewal source within the next seven years. as we've discussed, the president said no keystone pipeline without protections. >> obama: in our national interest, will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution. >> john: i'm joined by our esteemed panel of basil smikle, richard socarides and dean obeidallah. dean, i want to start with you on this one. was today's crackdown on carbon dioxide a way to win goodwill with environmental groups, to give the president political space should he decide to approve the keystone pipeline? >> i think that's part of it.
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of him trying to have an agenda and not being reactionary to what's going on with the i.r.s., with edward snowden with benghazi. since he's been re-elected, second term sworn it -- in, it has been a defensive environment. >> john: this president hold on. that's tyranny. by making this end run around congress, will there be blowback from the move? >> there will probably be blowback from congress. i think it is a good plan. the president has a long way to go on this before he can assert any claim that this is going to be his legacy. people who, in the environmental movement have waited four and a half years for something like this. they were expecting this right out of the box. in the first term. so you can you know, it is a good plan. it is what we should be doing. he is genuine on the keystone pipeline. you know -- >> john: genuine how so?
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>> genuine in that i don't think he's made up his mind. and that i think that -- >> or the lobbyist hasn't. >> i would be surprised if the keystone pipeline got approved. >> john: do you agree? >> i agree with that. i think he's trying to get back the message. not that this is the wrong issue to do it. it is a great issue. i don't think it will become part of his legacy. the one thing i will add is if you could do this by executive order, i would like to see that. i like the president realizing he has power in the office and exerting that kind of power. >> john: god knows the last one realized it, too. >> he should be doing that more. >> his passion in this speech, the way he talked about it for my family, for the children, there is a passion in him that was moving. that was great to see. >> john: i agree. >> executive order may be the only way with this congress. >> john: i recommend everyone watching the sexiest audience on basic cable go to us who.gov and read the plan. it is great at whitehouse.gov. i wanted to know what al gore thought about this but
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shockingly he's not returning my calls. you hear people say environmental issues are a luxury issue. do you think that's a legitimate case of what we're facing today. people are less concerned about the air and water we take in because the economy is so challenged? >> i think they care about it in the context of super storm sandy. if you look at what's happening here in new york the mayor has talked about green jobs and sometimes -- the president's talked about it as well. it doesn't resonate as much as jobs jobs, jobs. education, for example. but i think when you tie it to sandy. when you tie it to katrina. when you tie it to loss of life and loss of property, i think you understand, i think they will pay attention. i don't necessarily think they make the connection to jobs and prosperity with this. but they do connect it to just sort of the sense of security in terms of home and lifestyle. >> i'm not disagreeing with you but it is really a false choice. what we have to realize in this
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country is that thinking about this in terms of like jobs versus the environment, it is a false choice. because we have no options but to deal with climate change now because otherwise we're not going to be talking about jobs. we're going to be talking about flooding. and food and water and survival. so there will be no talk about jobs unless we deal with it. >> john: only jobs will be building fema trailers. speaking of issues that define a presidency, i want to turn to the i.r.s. scandal because it seems like well, it isn't. and the direction that i.r.s. officials were given to look for applicants seeking tax-exempt status with tea party and patriots in their title shocking gentlemen it also included titles such as progressive and occupy. according to i.r.s. documents released monday, apparently officials were trying to o use keyword shortcuts to find overtly political organizations instead of a conspiracy, we see the i.r.s. is an equal
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opportunity scrutinizer and out in question revolves around the i.r.s. sorting tactics and these keyword targets. so richard it seems like the i.r.s. scandal is finally gone. it is a dead issue. darrell issa has something new to cry about. it seems like all along in spite of what the president said and his apologies and fires the guy who had nothing to do with it, they were just doing their job in making sure the organizations pay taxes like we do. >> well, yes with a footnote. i don't think that they're probably doing their job correctly because i think there should not be an issue-based test on any of this. the test ought to be whether you're on the right or whether you're on the left. are you obeying the law and engaging and not engaging in political activity or not anymore political activity on any greater percent than you're allowed but this was -- what the i.r.s. was doing was not -- was clearly not aimed at conservative groups. it was aimed at any group and it was just done in an improper and
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sloppy way. totally nonpartisan screwup. >> john: dean, isn't that their job? >> it is their job. i hate to be questioning the voracity of this. but it is late in the game. it comes up. here, we had liberal groups as well. why hasn't it come up before? i know it is a new i.r.s. commissioner. this is what i found. why didn't we hear about this earlier? why not say -- they could have ended the whole thing. we went after conservative and progressive groups. >> john: we gotta go to a break. basil, why did the president let himself be a punching bag for a month if there was no singling out? >> my guess is he didn't know all that was there. >> john: you're saying he was out of the loop? athink he was out of the loop. >> john: up next, we'll be honoring a washington insider for his huge, massive testicles. that's right. you don't want to miss it.
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>> john: one last question for my brilliant panel.
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ed snowden is on the run so if you had to escape america, where would you go? basil mike isel? >> the projects because people -- because all of the elected officials and folks that they say care about people, they never care about folks in the projects. have you ever tried to take an elevator in the projects lately? >> hard to imagine you're having to be on the run but you know, i might probably go to california to work on climate change and no one would notice. >> john: that's true. dean? >> i would go to the home depot in paramus. it is huge. you can hide in aisle after aisle and no one will find you. they have bathrooms. it is great. >> john: brilliant. i'll squat there. we brings me to tonight's f bomb. we try to keep this show on the cutting edge of journalistic integrity which is why we're proud to present the giant testicles of the month award. the idea of an award like that might be hard to swallow but there is's a lot of brazenly dishonest behavior going on in the world of politics and media
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at the moment. we want to honor the person our persons who can most anything rantly and heroically get away with it. as you may have heard the media wants you to know edward snowden broke the law when he leaked the details of the government's prism data collection project to "the guardian" and david gregory really wants you to know that glen greenwald broke the law when he did his job as a journalist and reported the story. be that as it may our media is covering every move of edward snowden with an obsessive journalistic reverence reserved for kardashian relationships. where is snowedden? what airport is he? does he have an aisle or window seat? what film is showing on snowden's flight and why am i pretending i don't know it has to be jack reacher? the message of what snowden released has been lost. because what the media is not talking about is national intelligence director james clapper. now, mr. clapper is, i'm sure a fine and patriotic man and millions of us are inclined to
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trust and believe him mainly because he looks so much like the character mike from breaking bad. last march, before a senate panel, mr. clapper was asked by senator ron wyden, does the nsa collect any type of data on millions or hundreds of millions of america. clapper's response, no, sir not wittingly. there are cases where they could inadvertently, perhaps collect but not wittingly. that's fine, right? who among us, he among you has never collected data on millions of americans. but less than three months later, came the news that our government was indeed collecting data via phone records and internet histories but you know, only a select few americans make phone calls or go on the internet so this only potentially affects you and everyone you've ever met or ever will meet and everyone else. so what's the big deal, right? but mr. clapper was committing perjury. very serious charge. if it involves baseball players not so much when it comes to your privacy. as far as the establishment is
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concerned, this is perjury light. the same old taste of a great lie told before congress. nothing serious like steroids and baseball. now, andrea mitchell asked mr. clapper to explain the seeming disparity between his answer to senator widen and the truth. and he said "i responded in what i thought was the most truthful or least untruthful manner by saying no, clapper said, adding his answer was not technically a lie because of a semantic difference in the intel community. i responded in what i thought was the least untruthful manner. adulters take note. that phrase could confuse a jilted spouse into submission. it seems to have worked with the american media. but is that really the least untruthful answer? that depends on what your definition of is. of course, we don't know yet whether mr. snowden is a hero or just an oner tunist in over his head or both. what we do know is james clapper lied under oath to congress and you. but that's not as important to
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the media as to whether or not edward snowden went to the moscow airport cinnabon. snowden and clapper, both broke the law because they both thet they were doing the right thing for america. here's the difference. snowden told the truth about nsa collecting data on americans and clapper lied. directly to congress and the american people under oath. guess which one's wanted for freezin'? so congratulations, james clapper. you win the award for the most overwhelmingly vast gonads which is an important honor especially to tea baggers. lying under oath is okay so bill clinton and oliver north are off the hook. oh, wait they already were. i would like to thank my sensational panel, mr. basil mike smikle and my guests. this is "viewpoint." we're still here.
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>> joy: tonight, john wayne bobbitt says having his penis chopped off was the best thing to ever happen to his love life. yes, sometimes when life gives you lemons, you gotta make lemonade. plus jerry dewitt is here to share his journ friday from pentecostal preacher to devout atheist and i'll talk to two men who are trying to get married in all 50 states. seriously? how many toasters does one couple need? all of that and more on "say anything." god forbid, paula

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